Due to popular demand and a number o’ requests I’ve put together my list of guys to watch out for breakout seasons or, failing that, another step forward in young but promising careers. I am a benevolent god, what can I say? The people speak and I listen. I have a feeling this is going to be a series of posts because there’s just too much to say about too many guys. As such this list isn’t exhaustive and if I didn’t touch on one of your guys let me know in the comments and I’ll assemble another list or just tell you what you need to know directly. For now these are the top guys I think you should be targeting in mid to late rounds. Every one of the names on this list are keepers so if you’ve got room consider adding a few of them; you’ll thank me in a few years. If you don’t have room, well, make some! How? I don’t know. What am I, some kind of expert? Puh! Anyway, there’s a lot to cover in this lists so without further ado (I love the word ado, I don’t know why), here are my 2014-2015 Players to Watch:

Mikael Granlund broke out last season posting 41 points in 63 GP powered mostly by 43 helpers. While this isn’t my type of guy (I lubs the goal scorers) Granlund is one of my favorite young players in the league right now. He suffered from a concussion early last season so that limited him to just 63 games, but when he came back healthy and strong he exploded with 16 points in 20 games. A top-six role is his for the taking to start the season and a return to the top line for the Wild with Zach Parise and Jason Pominville is expected. There is some injury risk here, but not enough to stop me from drafting him where I can. 2015 Projections: 78 GP, 10 G, 45 A, 55 PTS

Nikita Kucherov has excelled at every level of the game including dominating the QMJHL with 63 points powered by 29 goals in 33 games in 2012-13, followed by 24 points powered by 13 goals in 17 games in the AHL last season. Then they called him up to the big show and he put up 9 G, 9 A and 18 points in 52 games. That’s a bit of a drop off there, but not an unexpected one. At just 21 years-old the Russian sniper is poised to take a modest step forward this year but he’s not going to see much time with the man advantage so that will hamper is production a bit. On the upside he’s going to compete for a top-six slot with the Bolts and may end up seeing at least a little time on the top line with Ryan Callahan and Steven Stamkos. 2015 Projections: 65 GP, 15 G, 15 A, 30 PTS 

Vladimir Tarasenko is going to score some goals this season, there’s no doubt about that. A hand injury that required surgery hampered the young sniper last season but it didn’t stop him from taking a big step forward in 2014. After a solid rookie campaign in 2012-13 that saw him post 19 points (8 goals) in 38 games, he came back last season and battled through 64 games to post 21 goals and 22 assists for 43 points, nice! It’s good to see that 20 goal marker broken at an early age and with the team he has around him and top-six minutes coming this season you can expect a modest uptick again this year. That being said, 8 of his 22 assists were secondary, so expect a slight downtick there. But still, goals! 2015 Projections: 75 GP, 25 G, 20 A, 45 PTS

Jakob Silfverberg was the meat of what the Ducks picked up in the deal that sent Bobby Ryan to the Sens a few years back, and while talented, injuries have limited him so far. That being said, dude has a sick wrist shot and a quick delivery that helps make it even scarier. He had a modest rookie campaign with the Ducks in 2012-13 posting 23 points in 52 games with 10 goals, but wasn’t able to build much on it after breaking his hand early last season. He wasn’t ever quite the same and the Ducks were deep enough that even when he came back there wasn’t much room for him to fly. If he sees any time with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf he could produce like whoa, but it’s more likely he sees time on Ryan Kesler’s line if he breaks into the top six, which seems like a strong possibility going into this season. 2015 Projections: 72 GP, 22 G, 15 A, 37 PTS

Mikkel Boedker is the best offensive option the Coyotes have going into this season. Yeah, I said it. Last season was definitely a breakout campaign for the speedy Dane and he should continue to impress this season with another step forward. First and foremost, dude is durable like whoa and hasn’t missed a game in forevs (the last three seasons, at least) so you can reasonably expect to see him out there every night. What can he do with all that TOI? Score! That’s what. Last season he failed to post a shot in just nine of his 82 games and just barely missed scoring 20 goals with 19. Despite that he broke the 50-point marker and despite a lackluster Arizona offense he should push the 60 point plateau this season, but fall just short. 2015 Projections: 82 GP, 20 G, 36 A, 56 PTS

Elias Lindholm didn’t waste any time getting his NHL career started and made the leap from the Swedish Elite League where he posted 30 points in 48 games, to the NHL at the tender age of just 18 years old. He didn’t disappoint in his rookie campaign with the Canes last year putting up 21 points in 58 games. And while that sounds largely unspectacular in fantasy terms, the upside here is huge. His hands are oh so soft, he sports good vision and his stick handling skills give me the vapors! There’s an open spot on the right side of Carolina’s top six this season and Lindholm could fill it, but he’s had concussion problems in the past (including one that cost him a handful of games last season) so be wary. That said, you could do a lot worse late in deep league drafts. 2015 Projections: 74 GP, 15 G, 31 A, 46 PTS

Brandon Saad has been progressing steadily since entering the league two seasons ago and is looking like a breakout candidate for 2015. Last season he did most of his damage playing with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, posting 23 points in the 27 games he played with them. To be fair, I could probably put up decent points with those two on my line, but it is what it is. Saad really came alive with Patty Kane and Andrew Shaw in the Western Conference Finals and kept pace in scoring with Kane matching his 9 points in 7 games, so the kid can get it done. He probably won’t bounce from top-six to bottom-six like he did last year, which bodes well. If indeed that is the case, and he’s getting consistent top-six minutes, he could pot upper-20s goals and 50+ points this season. 2015 Projections: 82 GP, 27 G, 29 S, 56 PTS

Brayden Schenn enters his fourth season in the NHL and might be living up to the early hype after potting 20 goals in 82 games last season. Schenn takes after his brother and piles up the hits finishing with 200 last season. The Flyers have been careful with him so far and his minutes have largely been against less than the best that opponents have to offer, so you have to take some of that success last season with a grain of salt. That said, not a very big grain. Too much salt is bad for your heart, didn’t you know? There’s no reason to think he won’t break the 20-goal barrier again this season and tack on a few more helpers to boot. 2015 Projections: 82 GP, 22 G, 33 A, 55 PTS 

Mark Scheifele showed good chemistry with the Jets’ top offensive weapon Blake Wheeler last season and it should carry over to this year. The question is whether or not it will get better or just bleh out. You know, I never really thought I’d say “top offensive weapon” followed by the name Blake Wheeler, but here we are. Last year Schief tied for 8th in rookie scoring with 34 points over 63 games and the talented playmaking pivot stands to take another step forward this year on the top line with Wheeler and Evander Kane. Now, Kane has trouble staying healthy, so Scheif’s value could take a bit of a hit if he goes down again this season, regardless the chemistry with Wheeler is there and the points should follow. Don’t expect the world from him, but he has an upside of 50+ points this year. 2015 Projections: 77 GP, 18 G, 35 A, 53 PTS 

Evander Kane scored 30 goals back in 2011-12 and has been tantalizing us since with the potential to return to that kind of scoring prowess. Last season he was held back by a hand injury that subsequently became infected and it’s not easy to shoot pucks accurately with a bum hand, just ask Jonathan Drouin. I often cite inflated shooting percentages as reasons why goal scorers will regress in the following year, but Kane is the opposite posting a paltry 7.6% SP last year which should come up a bit this season. If healthy he’ll get minutes on the top line with Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele, a great place for him to finally realize all that upside. 2015 Projections: 78 GP, 28 G, 31 A, 59 PTS

Alex Galchenyuk was hampered by injuries all last season and that kept his production down, but if he’s healthy in 2015 we should see a rebound campaign after he finished a solid rookie season with a line of 9 G, 18 A, 27 PTS in 48 GP. Last year the injuries aren’t all that held Galchenyuk back, he was asked to play a two-way role and his defensive assignments kept him from unleashing what looks like a boatload of offensive talent. The Habs decided not to make a big splash in the free agent market this season and this guy is one of the reasons why. They hope he’ll step up and stay healthy, and you could reap the benefits in the late rounds if he does. 2015 Projections: 70 GP, 22 G, 23 A, 45 PTS 

Sean Monahan posted a stellar rookie campaign last season potting 22 goals over 75 GP. Can he replicate that performance, even step up to the next level? Mayhaps, mayhaps. Just mayhaps?! But 22 goals as a rookie, JD! How can you not be over the moon on this kid? First, six of his 22 goals came in the first eight games he played. Without that hot streak to start the season he wouldn’t have sniffed 20 goals, let alone broke the mark. Don’t get me wrong, the kid still has goal scoring talent, but he is as streaky as you would expect a young goal scorer to be. Second, his shooting percentage was a robust 15.7% last season and that’s going to be difficult to maintain. That being said, he’s just 19 to start camp this season and there is the room and the talent for a step forward this season. 2015 Projections: 76 GP, 25 G, 27 A, 52 PTS

Tomas Hertl was so sick in a 9-2 drubbing of the Rangers last year that he forced Martin Biron into retirement. I’m not even kidding, did you see that between the legs goal? I’d retire if an 18-year-old schooled me like that too. Hertl exploded out of the gates last season and lead all rookies in scoring over the first quarter of the season with 18 points powered by 12 goals in 20 games played. Then he ended up on the business end of a knee-on-knee collision with the indestructible Dustin Brown and had to have his MCL and PCL repaired. He wasn’t supposed to skate in a game again until 2015 but he said screw that and rejoined the Sharks for their epic playoff collapse, but hey, he scored a goal, so there’s that. Seriously though Hertl posted 25 points in 37 games last season and there’s no reason to think with his knee completely repaired that he won’t start scoring goals again. If he ends up on Jumbo Joe’s wing, look out. 2015 Projections: 78 GP, 25 G, 20 A, 45 PTS

Tanner Pearson found a home on ‘That 70’s line’ with Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli last season and I see no reason why the Kings will break up the trio to start their 2015 season. Last year he split time between the NHL (7 PTS in 25 GP) and the AHL (32 PTS in 41 GP) and while he didn’t score much at the NHL level he definitely showed his talents with Manchester in the AHL. Pearson has shown himself to be highly intuitive putting himself in good position on most plays. He has a sickly quick release with the puck that could translate in to some delicious goooooals this season, but he isn’t going to explode on the scene just yet as he’s still working on developing his overall game. Still, a top-six position awaits him to start the season and he’s well on his way to become a household name in the hockey word. 2015 Projections: 70 GP, 14 G, 18 A, 32 PTS

Tyler Toffoli handled a similar song and dance as Tanner Pearson bouncing between the Manchester Monarchs in the AHL and the Kings, but ended up hanging around the big show for much longer than his Monarchs linemate showing up in 62 games for the Kings. His 29 points over those 62 contests might seem meh, but consider he did that while sporting just over 13 minutes a game. There’s no reason to think his TOI won’t go up this season and with it his scoring should as well. Like I just covered with Pearson, I can’t see the Kings breaking up That 70’s Line, so a top-six slot is his to lose. He has some trouble with his defensive assignments and seems to get a bit lost in Daryl Sutter’s system at times, the Kings and I hope he matures a bit this season and improves on those short comings. Most of the success That 70’s Line showed was found in playoffs, so that might spike his perceived value in drafts and I’ve seen him going way too early, so don’t get caught in that mess. Still, in late, deep leagues the sophomore is more than worth a flier. 2015 Projections: 80 GP, 18 G, 25 A, 43 PTS

Jonathan Huberdeau is a lot better than he played last season. No, really. The former Calder winner was hampered by hip and foot injuries all year that really limited what he could do. Lets not forget the concussion he suffered that cost him 10 games as well. Am I sensing an injury prone, but talented you guy who could go either way? You bet your sweet pucks I do. Yes, the Cats are terrible, but they’re building a great core of young players with Huberdeau at the center of it with talented Russian pivot Aleksander Barkov. He’s just too good to not rebound if healthy, but that’s starting to seem a big “if” in the health department. 2015 Projections: 70 GP, 15 G, 30 A, 45 PTS

Charlie Coyle started last season as a center, but that didn’t work out very well because the Wild got crushed by injury and needed help on the wings, so he was shifted to the right side. Unfortch for him he started last season on a line with Dany Heatley and predictably, that didn’t do wonders for his totals. The sprained knee he suffered through that cost him 10 games early on didn’t help either. Once Charlie was moved to the top line with Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu he flourished posting 6 points in 8 games, but it was a fleeting look at what he could do with the right linemates. He has a lot of offensive upside, but tapping it seems largely dependent on which line he’s on, but he’s tentatively slated to skate with Mikael Granlund and Thomas Vanek on the second line, and I’d buy that for a dollar! 2015 Projections: 78 GP, 18 G, 24 A, 42 PTS 

Dougie Hamilton took a step forward last season and put up 25 points in 64 games paired with Zdeno Chara, which stands to be his pairing again this year. Is there anyone better for the kid to learn from? These are valuable minutes and the former ninth overall pick has had two successive successful seasons (try saying that three times fast) going into 2015. We can expect another modest step forward this year as well. He was slowed by an LBI that cost him ten games but he came back with gusto in the post season putting up 7 points over 12 games. Torey Krug will eat away at Hamilton’s PP TOI, so a breakout campaign isn’t likely, but he’ll keep getting better. 2015 Projections: 82 GP, 10 G, 25 A, 35 PTS

Brendan Smith will get every chance to step up and fill the defensive void for the Wings as part of their second pairing with Kyle Quincey this season. I’m not real high on Smith but he has the size (6’2”, 200lbs) and the hockey mind to succeed. Last season he bounced from D to LW at one point and suffered through some injuries, but posted a modest rookie campaign in the process. He’s not going to make a huge leap but pushing the 10 goal, 30-point markers isn’t out of the question. 2015 Projections: 78 GP, 8 G, 20 A, 28 PTS

  1. Nimrod says:
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    How about a post on the top point Defensive players. Looking for stats on PPG, G and A. Thanks, JD

    • JD

      JD says:
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      You got it! Expect it up soon, check back often.

  2. Cheese says:
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    I had a good laugh at the Granlund post.. 41 points, but 43 of them were assists… teehee 🙂

    • JD

      JD says:
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      @Cheese: Haha thanks! I’m typically not huge on assists dependent guys, but I have a special place in my black heart for Granlund.

  3. Jc says:
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    What up JD!

    Wanna get your thoughts on my team. I have another draft tonight with the same pick, same stats. Should i try and draft the same team or blow it up?

    G A P +/- PIM PPP SHP GWG x W L GAA SV% SHO

    Tyler Seguin (Dal – C,RW)
    Taylor Hall (Edm – C,LW)
    Nathan MacKinnon (Col – C,RW)
    Nicklas Backstrom (Was – C)
    Kyle Okposo (NYI – RW)
    Jakub Voracek (Phi – RW)
    Jonathan Drouin (TB – LW)
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edm – C)
    Brad Richards (Chi – C,LW)
    Sean Monahan (Cgy – C)
    Mark Scheifele (Wpg – C)
    Tomas Tatar (Det – LW)

    Ryan McDonagh (NYR – D)
    Brent Seabrook (Chi – D)
    Dougie Hamilton (Bos – D)
    Eric Gelinas (NJ – D)

    Pekka Rinne (Nsh – G)
    Frederik Andersen (Anh – G)
    Jake Allen (StL – G)

    • JD

      JD says:
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      Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner on this, but that’s a beast team you drafted and if you went with similar pieces in your other league you’re going to be just fine.

      • Jc says:
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        @JD: Yeah no worries. That league is more competitive with $100 buyin so I wasnt able to match the same team.

        Tyler Seguin (Dal – C,RW)
        Taylor Hall (Edm – C,LW)
        Logan Couture (SJ – C,LW)
        Jakub Voracek (Phi – RW)
        Max Pacioretty (Mon – LW)
        Jonathan Drouin (TB – LW)
        Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edm – C)
        Gustav Nyquist (Det – C,RW)
        Mark Scheifele (Wpg – C)

        Dustin Byfuglien (Wpg – RW,D)
        Jacob Trouba (Wpg – D)
        Dougie Hamilton (Bos – D)
        Eric Gelinas (NJ – D)

        Cory Schneider (NJ – G)
        John Gibson (Anh – G)
        Jonas Hiller (Cgy – G)
        Alex Stalock (SJ – G)

        Should I drop anyone for Evgeny Kuznetsov or just wait and see how he starts the season?

        Jack Johnsons and Justin Faulk are on wire, pick one of them up?

        • JD

          JD says:
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          @Jc: Another solid squad man, you should do well. I’d drop Gelinas for Faulk, he has a much higher up side.

  4. Nimrod says:
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    JD, we had our draft yesterday. I am more of a baseball guy but am trying to learn the hockey player pool. I will admit once we got to the later rounds I didn’t have a clue on who to draft. My question, in a 2 start goalie league I have Schneinder, Kuemper,Jones and Talbot. The FA list has Anderson and Gibson plus Scrivens,Harding Allen and Lehner. Who should I drop and add and should I carry 3 or 4 goalies, and pick up another winger? We start 6 wingers and 4 Def.

    • JD

      JD says:
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      If by Anderson you mean Craig Anderson, stay away. If you meant to say Andersen, as in Frederik Andersen, you want to drop Cam Talbot or Martin Jones for him right away. If it’s Craig Anderson then drop Talbot or Jones for Jake Allen. If Darcy Kuemper can’t at least secure the no. 2 spot for the Wild, which I’m confident he can, you’ll want to let him go for John Gibson. Allen and Gibson are both in similar situations and could easily end up with around 30-40 starts a piece this season. Expect Jones and Talbot to get around 20 games a pop, mostly on back-to-back nights and long road trips to give Lundqvist and Quick some rest.

  5. Curt says:
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    I would add Ryan Strome to your list, but I’m a biased Isle fan.

    • JD

      JD says:
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      Strome is good and over the long haul he’s got the skills to be great, but this year he’s probably only going to end up with around 35-40ish points over 40-50 games in the NHL. Brock Nelson and Anders Lee are better bets for the Isles, and fantasy owners, production wise in 2015. There’s a lot for Isles fans to be excited about with some of their young guys for sure.

  6. OneI'dWilly says:
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    1st time trying hockey. Took over a keeper team.
    Start 2 each RW, LW, C 4 D, and 1 G
    6 Bench spots
    Skater Scoring: G, A (+/-), SOG, Penalty Min
    Goalie Scoring: W, SV, SV%, SO, GAA
    Auction $260 Keep up to 6
    Keeper options:
    H Sedin $39
    Tyler Johnson $5
    Jamie Benn $32
    Marcus Johansson $5
    Martin StLouis $38
    Teemu Selanne $7
    Andrei Markov $29
    Mark Giordano $5
    Ryan McDonagh $6
    Andy Greene $6
    PA Parentea $10
    Ryan Getlaf $30
    Mikhail Grabovsk $6
    Justin Faulk $6
    Fascal Dupuis $11
    Dave Bolland $5
    Steve Mason $5
    Tim Thomas $10
    Mike Smith $12
    How many do you keep and who?

    • JD

      JD says:
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      What’s the cash limit on your six keepers, or can you keep any six regardless of cost?

      • OneI'dWilly says:
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        @JD: Well my total budget is $260, so I can spend as much on my keepers as I want, as long as I have enough money to fill out my roster legally.

        • JD

          JD says:
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          Fair enough then! Benn, Getzlaf, McDonagh, Faulk and Giordano. I wouldn’t bother keeping anyone else. With two elite forwards, two top 20 defenseman and Faulk in tow you can focus on adding a third elite forward and better goaltending. Mason/Thomas/Smith is Bleh/Blergs/Ugh.

          • OneI'dWilly says:
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            @JD: Awesome. Thanks!

  7. ashtray says:
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    Great article.

    I need help picking my last keeper. We keep two and I have Stamkos locked up. Which of these guys should I add to the mix:

    Kunitz
    Backes
    Zetterberg
    Ryan
    Kesler
    Turis

    Thanks!

    • JD

      JD says:
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      @ashtray: Without knowing much about your league I’d say Zetterberg or Kuntiz, leaning towads Z but a bit tentative due to his injury history. Z is the better player by a long shot, though.

      • ashtray says:
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        @JD: League’s a bit wonky. Here’s the details:

        10 Team

        G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SHP, Hits

        • JD

          JD says:
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          @ashtray: Since Hits is a category I’d take Backes with Stamkos.

  8. SMLV1 says:
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    1. Drop Justin Williams for Horton?

    2. Drop Demers for Josi?

    3. Drop Campbell, Goligoski, Josi for any of these – Ekblad, Edler or Faulk

    4. Drop Stastny or H. Sedin for Hanzal?

    5. Drop Huberdeau for Hagelin?

    12 Team Standard League Questions…..Thanks JD!

    • JD

      JD says:
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      @SMLV1: 1. No
      2. Yes
      3. No, No, No
      4. No
      5. No

  9. Fungazi says:
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    You liking Filip Forsberg for this year?

    • JD

      JD says:
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      @Fungazi: I think he has a lot of skill and there’s a good possibility that he’ll be a solid point producer in the future, but this year I’d say he finishes with around 30 points. He’s a defensive liability right now, he needs to mature, so you can expect Laviolette to give him very sheltered minutes in a brutal division that won’t suffer many mistakes.

      • Fungazi says:
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        @JD: Sounds more like a ‘keep an eye on him’ guy than a stash. Thanks.

        • JD

          JD says:
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          @Fungazi: Yep! Maybe next season depending on how he develops over the course of this season. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets some time in the AHL this year.

  10. goodfold2 says:
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    good post on these mid level up and comers. very useful in all size leagues. you missed this one from before.
    back with the 16 team dynasty that i won a championship with last year. 16 teamer, we can keep up to 23 players per team. we can only have 2 active goalies at a time (1 starts per day). also 4 C/4 LW/4 RW/6 D (we’re set up like a real life team). also, i’m allowing everyone to keep their NA guys predraft in word as NA guys (yahoo for some stupid reason doesn’t allow this). only problem is that right now since camps aren’t over the NA tag isn’t on guys since they could make the NHL roster. our categories are G/A/+/-/PIM/PPP/SHP/GWG/SOG/Shot %/FW/Hits/Blocks
    1. do you know when the NA tags get attached (our draft is Oct 5th, i’m hoping it’s before then, i’m now comish and i told people to get their keepers to me by the 2nd)

    -On the fence about keeping purcell (if he’s on good line he’s a keep for sure, he gets PPP)/legwand (faceoffs/assists/PIM, but assists will go down a bit on OTT, and plus/minus)/beauchemin (elite blocks and plus/minus, and it’s hard to find elite plus minus)/beleskey (right on margin between streamable player and keeper)
    2. which of those on fence guys would you keep? (i’m already keeping between 16-19 already with 1 goalie, depending on whether or not g.reinhart/d.pouliot/m.subban get their NA before our draft or not)
    3. if i don’t get elliot at 16th overall (this is assuming some super propsect doesn’t fall to me), should i just stream my 2nd goalie spot if only 32 goalies are gone out of the pool (by end of draft)? I did this for a while last year, and it worked fine (i had that german WAS goalie and got khubodin and f.anderson doing this). Right now unowned goalies are elliot/mason/halak/greiss/backstrom/jones/lack/stalock/khudobin (when i don’t keep him)
    thanks.

    • JD

      JD says:
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      @goodfold2: Sorry I missed this earlier and thanks for the kind words!

      1. Not sure, I would imagine they’ll get added once rosters are finalized.
      2. Beauchemin
      3. I’d take Stalock if Elliot isn’t available. He has a real chance to win the starting job in San Jose, and if not, he could easily push a 1A/1B with Niemi. Halak might also be worth grabbing depending on how the Isles look to start the year. If either doesn’t live up to the pick you can easily switch to streaming. I’d rather have a set pair of goalies to start the year and stream if necessary rather than the other way around.

  11. Jeff Aces says:
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    How is my team? First time playing Fantasy Hockey
    10 Team

    C- Tavares (3rd Overall Pick. Was thinking Malkin but his injury risk scared me.
    C-MacKinnon
    C-Spezza
    C-Granlund
    LW-James Neal
    LW-Cammalleri
    LW-Jaden Schwartz
    LW-Ladd
    RW-Okposo
    RW-O’Reilly
    RW-Gaborik
    RW-Callahan
    D-Suban
    D-Wisniewski
    D-Dan Boyle
    D-Ehrhoff
    D-Tyler Myers
    D-Voynov
    G-Price
    G-Halak
    B-Holtby
    B-Gaudreau
    B-D Brown
    B-Ribeiro
    B-Pascal Dupuis
    B-Craig Smith
    B-Jori Lehtera
    B-Kyle Palmieri(Dropping for Smith-Pelly)
    B-Nick Holdin(Might Drop for Brendan Smith)
    B-Cam Talbot(Dropping for Tokarski)

    • JD

      JD says:
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      @Jeff Aces: Without knowing your league size and scoring settings I can’t say for sure, but in general it looks like you have a solid team here. Going with Tavares over Malkin was smart. I would have.

      Don’t drop Talbot for Tokarski just yet. Toker is fighting for the Habs’ backup job but he hasn’t won it yet. Peter Budaj has one year left on his deal and it’s a one-way deal, so the Habs might be forced to give Budaj the backup job just because they can stash Toker in the AHL and get him some more dev time while Budaj’s deal runs out. Talbot is the undisputed backup to Hank in New York and he’s going to get 20-25 starts.

      • Jeff Aces says:
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        @JD:

        Hello,

        Thanks for your reply. It’s a 10 team points league. Scoring is,

        Wins=5 points
        Goals Against=-1 point
        Shutouts=3 points
        Goals=3
        Assist=2
        SH goals=2
        PP goals =1

  12. Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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    20 team league where i am the Pittsburgh Penguins and keep up to 23 predraft (keep as many as we want dynasty). all stat categories yahoo allows pretty much. Start only 1 goalie, roster up to 2 at a time. 5 NA slots. No add limit per week or year. Dailyfaceoff.com not showing lines right now not helping. Clearly i’m keeping
    crosby
    kunitz
    malkin
    hornqvist
    maatta
    letang
    bennett (supposedly 2nd liner here, when healthy)
    fleury
    erhoff
    dupuis
    martin
    sutter (all around stats)
    despres
    downie (if he plays third line, lots of PIM, some points)
    pouliot (likely NA)
    kapanen (likely NA)

    what do you think about keeping more, such as
    goc (hits and faceoffs)
    adams (a lot of hits)
    comeau (most hits from last year)
    greiss (could have both PIT goalies, but i wouldn’t get as many starts this way)
    spaling (2nd liner till bennett’s back?)
    bortuzzo (hits and blocks monster)
    dumoulin (likely NA guy, their 3rd highest prospect)
    With all those kept (not counting the on the fence guys), and drafting a 2nd goalie, i’ll have room for 6 more total players, till the NA guys get their tags, then would have up to three more roster spots.

    The 10 teams that aren’t owned that we will be able to draft the useful players from are ARI/DET/EDM/FLA/MIN/NAS/NJ/OTT/PHI/WAS. I (like real life with PIT) am 17th pick each round.

    • JD

      JD says:
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      @Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey: Goc, Adams and Greiss are probably worth keeping, but it depends on who you could replace them with in the draft. There are some interesting goalie options open to you in Detroit (Howard), Nashville (Rinne), Washington (Holtby) and Minnesota (Kuemper) though, and I’d take any of those guys way way ahead of Greiss.

      • Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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        @JD: i’m going deep into projected data in all our scoring categories (this takes a while) to find the relative values of all players up to 460 players, after that i can use that for all my leagues; and then will know how valuable the leftover guys are compared to my possible keepers at the back end. i have picks at 17th in each round.

  13. Nimrod says:
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    JD thanks for the help on my goalie situation. My next question is I think I should drop C. Fowler (have PK, A. Pietlo, and V. Hedman plus D. ByFuglien) for a LW. I need some roster flexibility. FA available are Ladd, Hertl, Huberdeau, Brown, and Vermette. Who do you recommend?

    • JD

      JD says:
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      @Nimrod: Ladd, Huberdeau, Hertl in that order. Fowler is a solid Dman though, you might want to explore trading him instead of putting him on the wire for someone else to grab for nothing.

  14. Mike says:
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    What is your strategy for CBS head to head leagues where defenseman scoring is worth more points? Should your first 4 picks be 2 d-men and 2 goalies?

    • Mantis Toboggan MD says:
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      @Mike: mention the relative value of defensemen pts to forward pts. 1.5, double etc.

      • JD

        JD says:
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        @Mantis Toboggan MD: Yeah that sounds about right. CBS leagues make elite goalies and defenseman pretty damn valuable. That being said, you don’t want to totally ignore forwards early on, get an elite forward in your first three picks or so, something like this: defense, goalie, forward, defense, goalie, defense, etc. Balance is important! My defenseman rankings are going up later today, so keep an eye out for that post, hopefully it will help guide your way.

        • Mike says:
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          @JD:

          Thanks!

  15. Mike says:
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    Thanks guys

    CBS gives 5 pts per goal and 3 pts for assist for defense. Forwards get 3 pts for goal and 2 pts for assist

  16. mcBlunty says:
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    would like your take on my squad, drafted last night, 12 team league H2H, G,A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SHG, GWG, SOG; Games Started (GS), Wins (W), Goals Against Average (GAA), Save Percentage (SV%), Shutouts (SHO)

    Starting Skaters
    J Toews
    J Thornton
    M Pacioretty
    R O’Riely
    P Hornqvist
    N Yakupov
    T Hertl
    K Turris
    A Petriengrlo
    O Eckman Larson
    J Johnson
    R Josi

    Goalies
    Tuuka
    Lehtonen
    Elliot

    Bench I have
    Seth Jones
    V Nichushkin
    Johnny Gaudreau
    Jussi Jokinen

    Had the #8 overall pick and took Tuukka, any glaring weakness’s you see? I wish my Def was a bit stronger, but think there are some young guys with up side. Thanks

    • JD

      JD says:
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      I think you’re going to hurt a bit for goals, but otherwise you’re strong. I wouldn’t be too down on your D, I like it a lot. I’m not a big fan of Yakupov, those Russians that show up with all that hype seem to rarely pan out…

  17. Pancho says:
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    Yo, JD!

    Had my draft on Thursday and it worked out better than I could have imagined!

    Went into the draft with Crosby, Hall, Karlsson, and Rask as keepers. I ended up holding onto Hall (I was being offered the first overall pick and another draft upgrade for him. Would have used the first pick on MacKinnon), don’t know if you remember that convo.

    After four off-season trades I owned the 6, 13, 15, and 29 overall picks. 30 players were being kept (I acquired my fourth keeper by trading draft picks).

    After debating for days about whether to trade Hall for the first overall to acquire MacKinnon, Christmas arrived early and Mac fell to me at 6 ! I was ecstatic!!!!!!! The first five picks of the draft were Bishop, Sharp, Couture, MA Fleury, and Duchene.

    G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SOG : W, GAA, SV%, SHO

    I then took Schneider at 13, Rinne at 15, and Big Buff at 29!

    Also snagged Joe Thorton, Hartnell, Voracek, Markov, Dougie Hamilton, Saad, Krejci, and Kuznetsov to fill out my roster.

    Happy Birthday to me! Although my birthday isn’t until February … You know what I mean.

    Do you share with me in my excitement?

    • JD

      JD says:
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      Nice! I had sequence of events in mind all along, clearly. Happy birthday to you indeed, that’s a ridiculous squad… without seeing the rest of your league I have to figure you’re an early favorite to take the whole thing. Brilliant drafting, sir.

  18. Slimbooo says:
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    is Beau Bennett droppable in keepers?

    and which of these guys is worth stashing on my NA for the long haul

    Andrei Loktionov
    Michael Zalewski
    Roman Horak
    Adam Payerl
    Nicolas Deschamps
    Zach Nastasiuk
    Maxim Kitsyn
    Stephen Harper
    Kurtis Gabriel
    Eric Selleck
    Edgars Kulda
    Victor Crus Rydberg
    Kenton Helgesen
    Brandon Alderson
    Laurent Dauphin
    Derek Mathers
    Darby Llewellyn

  19. Millenball says:
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    Would love to get your thoughts on my roster, its been a while since i played fantasy puck, so i may have not done so hot
    10 team h2h, g, a, pts, +/-, pim, ppp, shp, gwg, sog…..w, sho, sv, sv%
    c- giroux
    c- hall
    lw- landeskog
    rw- okposo
    w- kesler
    f- backstrom
    d- ekman-larson
    d- burns
    d- markov (habs bias)
    util- bergeron
    util- nugent-hopkins

    g- niemi (didnt know about battle prior to draft)
    g- miller
    g- howard

    bench
    eriksson
    galchenyuk
    tatar
    hodson
    downie
    phaneuf
    kuemper

    • Millenball says:
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      @Millenball:

      dropped downie for tarasenko

    • JD

      JD says:
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      It’s good, nice depth. Niemi could still have a really solid season. His playoff meltdown really hurt his stock, but he was never a stellar goalie to begin with, he benefits from a staunch defense in front of him. Stalock seems like he’s going to steal his fair share of games though, the kid is good. Goalies could go either way, so good call grabbing Kuemper he’s looked outstanding so far, he could easily take the Wild’s starting job.

  20. rocky says:
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    good afternoon

    got a bit of a problem in my keeper league and can only keep 8 who would you choose out of this group

    Sharp
    Stall
    Marleau
    Doughty
    Nash
    Bergeron
    Thorton
    Carter
    Gaborik
    Nyquist
    Semin
    Fleury
    Mason

    • JD

      JD says:
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      Without knowing the league size, scoring settings, and such I’d go with: Fleury, Gaborik, Carter, Sharp, Doughty, Thornton, Nash, Nyqvist

      • rocky says:
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        @JD:

        12 teams 8 keepers
        Goals (G), Assists (A), Plus/Minus (+/-), Penalty Minutes (PIM), Powerplay Points (PPP)
        Wins (W), Losses (L), Goals Against Average (GAA), Save Percentage (SV%), Shutouts (SHO)

        knowing those settings do u still feel the same way?

        thanks

  21. Gus says:
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    Quick question – selecting 3rd in my keeper league pool (points-only) and looking for the best pick to compete this year and also considering keeper value. I rank the top 4 guys as:

    Johansen
    JVR
    Hornqvist
    Nyqvist

    Does that seem reasonable?

    • JD

      JD says:
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      It seems spot on, though Nyqvist could overtake Hornqvist. Qvist! Johansen is a lock for 60-70 points if he had time in camp and played a full season, but it doesn’t look like either of those things are going to happen sadly. If they can get him signed he’s absolutely the best keeper here.

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